JIMTOWN — It will forever be known as the Night the Lights Went Out in Jimtown.
But prior to the 6:40 mark of the fourth quarter — when every light in the Knepp Field area went dark — the Jimtown football team put on a clinic.
The top-ranked Jimmies, now 11-0 on the year, led Whitko 55-7 Friday in the Class 3A sectional semifinals when the game was called when it’s believed a transformer blew nearby.
Jimtown advances to play at Heritage (9-2) next Friday for the sectional title. The Patriots crushed Tippecanoe Valley 49-8 in the other semifinal game.
Whitko, a surprise winner over Garrett a week ago, was no match for Jimtown’s high-powered offense. The Jimmies rushed for 365 total yards, while quarterback Brody Olson was his usual steady self, completing 6 of his 8 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought we were able to do some things with our offensive formations that really gave them trouble,’’ Jimtown coach Mike Campbell said. “Our lines opened some holes, our backs broke some tackles and we were able to complete some key passes too. It was just a great all-around offensive game for us.’’
Starting running backs Devan Emerson and Tanner Adams each scored a pair of touchdowns, with Emerson rushing for 103 yards and Adams 82.
The Jimtown defense may have set the tone for the game in the opening minutes, just by forcing a three-and-out by the Wildcats _ which included a nine-yard sack by Emerson on Whitko quarterback Alex Stoddard.
The Jimmies then drove 68 yards in 10 plays, with Adams scoring the first touchdown from two yards out.
“I thought it was important for our defense to set the tone early,’’ Campbell said. “Whitko is a lot like us offensively, they like to run the ball, control the clock and really shorten the game. We wanted to stop them and get a lead and try and force them to throw the ball more than they wanted.’’
On their way to a 41-0 halftime advantage, Jimtown scored all six times they touched the ball in the first half. Meanwhile, a focused JHS defense held Whitko to just 29 yards rushing.
Already leading 27-0, Jimtown put the game away for good late in the first half, scoring two touchdowns in the final 30 seconds.
Emerson completed a 51-yard drive, which included a 28-yard run by Adams, with a 1-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 34-0 with 30 seconds to play in the half.
On Whitko’s next offensive play, Stoddard threw deep, but Jimtown sophomore Marquis Schieber intercepted the ball and returned it 35 yards to the Wildcat 15.
Olson then tossed a scoring pass to Evan Oblinger in the corner of the end zone to push the lead to 41-0 at the half.
Backup quarterback Shawn Garriott would score twice in the second half on a pair of short touchdown runs.
“Next week’s game will be in November and our goal here is to always be playing in November,’’ Campbell said. “We’ll be getting on the bus and making the long trip to Heritage to play a very good football team, so we’ll have to be ready for that challenge.”
Jimtown 55, Whitko 7
Scoring by Quarters
Whitko 0 0 7 0 — 7
Jimtown 14 27 14 0 — 55
School — Scoring Play
J — Tanner Adams 2 run; Trey Zufan kick
J — Devan Emerson 32 run; Zufan kick.
J — Casey Adams 2 run; Zufan kick.
J — T. Adams 1 run; kick failed.
J — Emerson 7 run; Zufan kick.
J — Evan Oblinger 15 pass from Brody Olson; zufan kick.
J — Shawn Garriott 1 run; Zufan kick.
W — Trace Killian 49 pass from Alex Stoddard; Jake Nissley kick.
J — Garriott 9 run; Zufan kick.
Team Statistics Wh Ji
Net yards rushing 41 365
Net yards passing 60 59
Total Yards 101 424
First Downs 5 22
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties 5-39 3-20
Whitko: Rushing — Trace Killian 4-16. Passing — Alex Stoddard 3-5-60. Receiving — Killian 1-49, Steve Bennett 1-7.
Jimtown: Rushing — Devan Emerson 10-103, Tanner Adams 9-82, Casey Adams 5-17, Tyler Lundy 6-69. Passing — Brody Olson 6-8-59. Receiving — Evan Oblinger 4-44, Carter Gill 1-13.